Top shares on Venezuela

Venezuela has dominated Russian portals, Russian newspapers and also Twitter this week, as analysis from our new data tool shows. A link to a story about the French President supporting the opposition in Venezuela but not at home received more than 4500 engagements on social media. Ignoring the fact that the last presidential elections in Venezuela were not free, fair or credible and also lacked democratic legitimacy, this is how the social media saw things:

According to the BBC, this account has been pushing many conspiracy theories about Syria. It boasts 154 000 followers and the aforementioned tweet received more than 1300 retweets and in excess of 2100 likes. The pro-Kremlin TV channels also followed the coordinated narrative to create a link between Venezuela and France.

 

 

Amongst links popular on Twitter and created by pro-Kremlin media outlets was also a story drawing on parallel accusations of US meddling in Venezuela and in Ukraine, falsely arguing that in 2014 the US and its EU allies pulled off a coup d’état in Kiev. This story received more than 2700 reactions on Facebook and Twitter.

As the Bank of England withheld Venezuelan gold reserves, some accounts on social media suggested that this was the work of Rothschilds, but the pro-Kremlin media brought out the “America is behind everything” argument and stated that it was because the UK is under the thumb of the US. This is a thumb so large it covers German foreign policyGerman media, the European Parliament and Russia’s accordance with the INF Treaty.

In addition to the American thumb, pro-Kremlin media also pointed to the US trigger finger, headlining that President Trump ordered the Colombian mafia to assassinate Nicolas Maduro. No proof was provided, but the link was still shared more than 600 times.

While Venezuela was a topic for RT and Sputnik in all available languages, it was their Spanish outlets that were the most impactful: since 1 December 2018 there have been 310 000 tweets about Venezuela that contain a link to RT or Sputnik, and more than three quarters were in Spanish. For example the pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is supporting the opposition leader Juan Gaido only because of oil interests was reinforced with the hashtag YankeesGoHome – it continues to occupy the top 10 hashtag list.

On Spanish RT’s Twitter account, there are posts that have been retweeted thousands of times. The absolute record belongs to Inna Afinogenova – her video on Spanish RT’s Twitter account including jokes on social media that focus on Juan Gaido has been watched 856 000 times and counting.

Whereas the European elections are still some months away, Estonia is now preparing for its parliamentary elections. This time the pro-Kremlin media compared apples to oranges and made unsubstantiated claims about e-voting benefitting only right-wing parties.

And even though the disinformation world’s attention was focused on Venezuela, some outlets found time and space to devote to alleged Western activities in other parts of the world.

Belarus and Georgia, for instance, were portrayed as life rafts for the EU. Belarus – through being absorbed by the EU and thus rescuing it from collapsing. As for Georgia the claim is that the funds provided by the EU are in exchange for accommodating unwanted migrants from Germany.

Also, a case of the UK interfering in Ukrainian elections might raise some eyebrows, as, contrary to previous stories, it allegedly planned to bring to power an anti-Western president. How does that go with the well-known claims of the West meddling in Ukrainian elections and preparing a Ukraine-like scenario for Belarus? It’s hard to tell, but consistency was never a strong suit of pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Masonic-Jesuit conspiracy is behind the situation in Venezuela
Additional details: The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido studied in a Catholic university. Vatican, which oversees all the Catholic universities in the world, is an old partner of Washington in the "color revolutions" (e.g. in Ukraine) and played a big role in organising the coup in Venezuela. 

Guaido also received a master's degree in management at the George Washington University, where, for example, Mikheil Saakashvili studied. Apart from studying, Guaido joined the totalitarian sect of Freemasons. Saakashvili also became a Freemason in the US.

Vatican is strongly linked to the Freemasonry. Over the past year, it has been actively involved in organising insurrections against legitimate governments in Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Belarus, and Brazil. It is also involved in the organisation of a "colour revolution" in Poland, together with the US.


In fact, the Holy Fathers have turned into an ideological tool of the anti-Christian minded globalists.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/blog/384016
Disinforming outlet(s): Ren TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Pro-Kremlin conspiracy about Venezuela, Western meddling and Vatican.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral process, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process. In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

 

Keywords: Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Protest, Conspiracy
Countries: Venezuela, US
More
Election campaigns in Ukraine are funded from incomprehensible funds
Additional details: On the eve of the 2019 elections, Ukraine’s presidential candidates finance their election campaigns from incomprehensible funds. This was stated by the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov. According to him, political corruption in the country is booming and candidates use shady sources of funding.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The purpose of this misleading material is to discredit the future presidential elections in Ukraine.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the election in Ukraine, aimed at questioning the elections themselves and the integrity of Ukraine.

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov did not declare that all presidential candidates in Ukraine finance their campaigns from obscure sources.

During the Collegium of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, minister Avakov stated that 38 applications for presidential candidates were submitted to the Central electoral commission, but only a few of the election funds had been opened. He insisted that the financing of the election campaign should only come from the election fund accounts.  "We should not tolerate political corruption that goes into the world through financing the electoral process from obscure funds", the minister said. The minister also emphasized that all efforts should be made to prevent political corruption on the part of the presidential candidates.

Further debunk by StopFake.

Keywords: Corruption, Elections
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
EU is accomplice of the US in the Venezuelan coup d'état
Additional details: EU is accomplice of the US in the coup d'état in Venezuela. It used the situation in Venezuela to hide their own contradictions with Washington and demonstrate EU's 'great power'.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the protests in Venezuela.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral process, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process.

In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Protest, Coup
Countries: Venezuela, EU, US
More
Washington is using Venezuela to compensate for its failure in Syria
Additional details: 'This whole story with Venezuela' is a compensation for US' failure in Syria. It is inspired by the Americans. Washington is burning the Latin America. 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/2561989.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the protests in Venezuela and the Western meddling. Nothing suggests that there is a link between US Syria and Venezuela policies.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral process, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process. In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Protest
Countries: Venezuela, US, Syria
More
The UK wants to intervene in the Ukrainian presidential election
Additional details: The UK intends to intervene in the presidential elections in Ukraine, which will be held in the country on March 31st. The British government wants to bring to power in Ukraine a "president with a new course" who would abandon the country's pro-Western path. That would help settle the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. This strategy is spelled out in the UK House of Commons report.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian, RIA Novosti, Regnum.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unsubstantiated claim, no evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the West preparing for war.

On January 21, the library of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain published a report entitled “Cold conflicts in the near abroad of Russia”.

Describing the Russian aggression, British analysts drew attention to Russian attempts to influence future elections in Ukraine. In London, it was assumed that with the intervention of Russia, a certain number of pro-Russian parties could enter the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and insist on the resumption of relations with Russia. In this case, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine may end, but Russian influence in the country will increase.

Further debunking by StopFake.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
Countries: UK, Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine banned Vkontakte as a result of Facebook lobbying
Additional details: In 2017 Ukraine blocked access to Russian social media Vkontakte as a result lobbying by Facebook.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Radio Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given to support this allegation.

Ukraine blocked access to Vkontakte and other Russian social media for security reasons, as part of a broader set of measures by the National Security Council (NSDC) to expand “personal economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)” against personalities linked to the Crimean annexation, terrorist activities, illegal border crossing, and 468 Russia-based or Russia-affiliated companies.

According to the Secretary of the National Security Council (NSDC) Olexandr Turchynov, such measures were taken as Russian Internet resources “threaten information and cyber security of Ukraine” and “are used for propaganda and the recruitment of agents by Russian security services.”

 

Keywords: social media, Facebook
Countries: Ukraine
More
In Estonia, negative attitude towards the country is punishable by law
Additional details: In Estonia, creating and strengthening negative attitude towards the country is punishable by law. Relevant amendments approved by the Parliament at the end of last year.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. Estonia does not punish for negative attitudes towards the state, instead the law mentioned in the news is about intelligence activities directed against the security of the Republic of Estonia.The necessary elements of the criminal offences of the establishment or maintenance of a relationship that is against the Republic of Estonia, and anti-state influencing of officials are also specified.

Keywords: Freedom of speech
Countries: Estonia
More
The West tried to carry out a coup in Venezuela
Additional details: The West is trying to overthrow the Venezuelan legally elected President by violating all legal norms. What the West does is absolutely illegal. The West thinks only of its own interests and turns to the defence of human rights only when it can benefit from it.
Language / Targeted audience: French
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West meddling in and destabilising countries around the world.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral schedule, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process.

In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

 

Keywords: Coup, The West
Countries: Venezuela, The West
More
In Ukraine churches belonging to Moscow Patriarchate have been seized and priests beaten up
Additional details: Following the 15th December 2018 “schism” that established a Unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine, churches in Ukraine belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate have been seized and priests beaten up.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Italian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Ukrainian media published a video about a service held in that church on the 17 December.

Vinnytsia police chief Serhiy Syniavskyi informed that they “sent a special patrol to the church to check things out. Everything was normal as usual". And Stop Fake contacted the caretakers of the Vinnytsia church and were told everything was normal and no one had taken control of the church. "Over the telephone we could hear singing from the mass that was taking place there at the time", mentions Stop Fake.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about autocephaly and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. See here for analogous disinformation cases.

For other disinformation narratives on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church see here and here.

Keywords: autocephaly, Orthodox Church
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
US forces Europe to back violation of the law in Venezuela
Additional details: The situation in Venezuela is being used by the US to satisfy its imperial ambition and is a testing ground for practising a strategy of confrontation with everyone who does not share the imperial ambitions of Washington. The situation in Venezuela is an example of how allies of the United States are forced to back cynical violation of the law, while Europe seeks to swear allegiance to Washington.


 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/20190131/1550210779.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given of the US forcing Europe.

EU did not "swear allegiance" to the United States.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral process, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process.

In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Protest
Countries: Venezuela, EU, US
More
"Rail Baltica" is a measure to build up military infrastructure in the Baltic States
Additional details: The new "Rail Baltica" is a measure to build up military infrastructure in the Baltic States.

By 2026, a railway track is to be built in the Baltic States on which NATO-tanks can be quickly and directly moved to the Russian border.

The West is consistently expanding the military infrastructure in the Baltic States. There is no doubt that the new railway will be built for military purposes. Rail Baltica is the central element of an infrastructure network for the rapid deployment of military troops.

Currently more time is needed to transport "tanks to protect against aggressive Russia". But on the new Rail Baltica "the tanks will arrive faster" at the Russian border.

 
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory without any evidence. Click here for earlier disinformation reports on the matter.

The "Rail Baltica" project is a key EU infrastructure project to link Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and indirectly Finland with a new European gauge fast conventional railway. The "Rail Baltica" is one of the priority projects of the European Union: Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T). It envisages a continuous rail link from Tallinn (Estonia) to Warsaw (Poland), going via Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania). The Baltic route should be completed by 2025; the link to Warsaw by 2030.

Further reading

http://www.railbaltica.org/about-rail-baltica/

eng.lsm.lv/article/economy/transport/forecast-36-million-to-55-million-trips-to-be-taken-on-rail-baltica-in-2026.a307686/,

Keywords: Rail-roads, Conspiracy
Countries: Latvia, Russia, Baltic states, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland
More
Without Russia, Ukraine would collapse economically
Additional details: Ukrainian ex-minister Evgeniy Chervonenko said that Ukraine would collapse economically without Russia, and that Ukraine's duty-free quotas to Europe stopped at the end of January 2019. "I think that today, without Russia, we would have an economic collapse", the politician concluded. "Life shows the truth (...). January ends, and quotas to Europe end as well".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Newsone ua
Reported by:
Disproof note:

In 2016, the EU became Ukraine's largest trading partner, accounting for more than 40% in 2016. In 2017, the overall trade between the EU and Ukraine has increased by 24%. In 2018, the trade turnover of only agricultural goods between Ukraine and the EU increased by 11.4% and reached 9 billion USD. In 2014-2017, Ukrainian companies exported 265 new products to the EU that had not been exported before, among them are butter, poultry, lard, image projectors, snowmobiles, and washing machines. The EU is also the largest investor in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Agrarian Business Club reported that “as of January 21, Ukraine closed the quotas for duty-free export to the EU of honey, wine and apple juice, as well as the main and additional quotas for corn ... Despite the exhaustion of duty-free quotas, the export of these products will continue in the future”. In addition, the list of products for which Ukraine has duty-free quotas for export to the EU is much bigger, therefore, it cannot be argued that quotas have been closed in January. The goods that cannot be exported duty-free will be exported on a regular basis.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine notes that, in 2018, additional trade preferences were opened in the European market for honey, grape juice, processed tomatoes, barley groats, flour and oats.

The vice-president of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with “European Pravda” that “it is already noticeable that the Ukrainian economy is beginning to recover. Last year, the GDP growth rate was 2.5%, we expect acceleration to 3.5% next year”.

In addition, Ukraine’s trade with other countries is also growing, new agreements are emerging. For example, the trade turnover between Ukraine and China increased by $1.1 billion compared to 2017.

In early 2019, Ukraine also signed the Free Trade Agreement with Israel.The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine expects growth to $ 63.5 million compared to previous years thanks to the new agreement.

Further debunking by StopFake.org.

For more information on trade between the EU and Ukraine, see here. For other disinformation narratives on EU trade see here.

Keywords: Ukraine, economy, Economic difficulties
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
There was a coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2014
Additional details: There was a coup in Ukraine in 2014.

 

 
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring Russian narrative about coup d'etat in Ukraine.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

There were democratic Presidential elections held on 25 May 2014 in Ukraine. The OSCE characterised the elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." This fact was reconfirmed by the parliamentary elections of 26 October 2014. The OSCE characterised the vote as "an amply contested election that offered votes real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms".

 

Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine
More
Lugar lab all the more suspicious as Georgia has not signed biological weapons convention
Additional details: Georgia is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), an international treaty banning the production of biological weapons.  This makes the operations of the Lugar lab, a reference laboratory of the Georgian National Center for Disease Control, even more suspicious.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: www.myvideo.ge/v/3741875
Disinforming outlet(s): Obiektivi TV (Georgia)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring narrative about Lugar Laboratory.

The claim that Georgia is not signatory to the BWC is just another touch to the picture which a recurring pro-Russia narrative on the Lugar lab attempts to paint. The lab has been accused of a number of heinous crimes, from experimenting with germ strains that would selectively target ethnic Russians to testing biological weapons on humans. Here is a roundup of Lugar lab-related disinformation narratives.

Georgia acceded to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction on 22 May 1996.

Keywords: Lugar, Biological weapons
Countries: Georgia
More
PACE resolutions have no power
Additional details: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is an outdated and toothless organisation, which doesn't do anything clever. It is a club of people who like to talk about everything. Resolutions are simply not needed because they have no power.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: radiovesti.ru/brand/62139/episode/2085922
Disinforming outlet(s): Yevrozona @ Vesti FM (38:40 and 41:40)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Among other instruments of influence, PACE has the right to demand action from 47 European governments, who must jointly reply, question Presidents and Prime Ministers on any topic it chooses, sanction a member State by recommending its exclusion or suspension, etc.

"Though it has no power to pass binding laws, PACE holds a constant dialogue with governments, national parliaments, other international organisations and civil society which "sets the agenda", says the official website.

Among the Assembly's most important achievements are ending the death penalty in Europe by making it an accession condition, inspiring a host of national laws by pressing for new convention, creating a forum for debating controversial social or political issues.

For example, according to one of the resolutions, Russian deputies were deprived of the right to vote in PACE, as well as the right to be represented in its governing bodies, because of Crimea annexation, military aggression in Donbas, etc.

Keywords: Council of Europe, Europe
Countries: Russia
More
The interventions of the US, the EU and NATO resulted in civil war in Ukraine and Russia played no role in this
Additional details: The US, the EU and NATO intervened in Ukraine, which resulted in civil war. Russia had nothing to do with it.
"Since the interference and subversion of the USA, the EU and NATO, a precarious civil war takes place in the country which, at the same time, is the driving force of an impending war against Russia... The 'Ukrainian democracy movement', the "Maidan", was a chimera, an invention cooked up in the poisonous kitchens of the Western secret services".

 
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine and Ukraine's statehood.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that "the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation". This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian government.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilize, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

 

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, US presence in Europe, War in Ukraine, Coup, NATO
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU, US
More
EU grants and loans to Georgia are for resettling migrants rather than infrastructure development
Additional details: The money which Georgia loaned from Germany after Chancellor Merkel’s visit on the 22nd August 2018 is likely not to be intended for infrastructure projects, as the two sides declared, but rather for the resettlement of migrants in Georgia.

The EUR 3.4 billion, which the EU recently allocated to Georgia, will probably also be spent on creating good living conditions for migrants in Georgia.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The EU, and Germany in particular, demanding resettlement of migrants to Georgia is a recurring pro-Russian narrative (see earlier EU vs Disinfo cases here and here and Mythdector reports here and here).

The only migrants German Chancellor Merkel discussed during her visit to Tbilisi were Georgians seeking asylum in Germany. The development cooperation deals totalling more than EUR 193 million included drinking water, waste water, and natural gas storage facility projects (see earlier EU vs Disinfo cases here and here and a Deutsche Welle report on the visit here).

As for the recently allocated EUR 3.4 billion, it was committed under the Indicative Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Investment Action Plan, designed by the EU in cooperation with the World Bank and six Eastern Partnership (EaP) member states in line with the EaP initiative’s goal of delivering tangible results for citizens across the region. The Action Plan has nothing to do with migration-related issues and seeks to bolster economic growth in the EaP region by enhancing transport infrastructure.

 

Keywords: migration, Eastern Partnership, UN, Angela Merkel
Countries: Germany, Georgia
More
West plans a Ukrainian scenario in Belarus
Additional details: Western institutions promote pro-Western officials in the Belarusian state apparatus. The West, its special bodies and institutions consider a Ukrainian scenario in Belarus to tear it apart from Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sonar2050
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Maidan protests ignited by the West and about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in the EU neighbourhood.

The EU is not promoting pro-Western officials in the Belarusian state apparatus. EU assistance to Belarus aims at improving the quality of life of Belarusian citizens in a tangible and visible manner, by strengthening its economy, governance, connectivity and society. Find out more about the EU assistance to Belarus here.

 

Keywords: Colour revolutions
Countries: Ukraine, Belarus
More
UK to introduce visa regime for EU citizens in case of a hard Brexit
Additional details: UK will introduce visa regime for EU citizens in case of a hard Brexit.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=3109870&cid=5#
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Brexit.

The British government outlined that in the event of no deal, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK to visit, work or study after 29 March 2019. For stays longer than 3 months, European Temporary Leave to Remain will be required.

Further debunking by The Insider.

Keywords: Brexit
Countries: UK, EU
More
Trump plans a raid to seize Venezuela
Additional details: Washington’s actions against Caracas deserve to be included in textbooks on how to seize power in a foreign country. US is directly financing a coup in Venezuela.

The TV series "House of Cards" demonstrated to millions of viewers how a person who has not passed through nation-wide elections can become a president. Now Washington clearly shows how, instead of Nicholas Maduro, who was elected by the majority of Venezuelan citizens, it intends to place for a leading position a man whose level of support in the country is absolutely unknown.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=3110274
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the protests in Venezuela.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral schedule, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process. In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

Also read on: Russian trolls and the "House of Cards".

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Protest, Coup
Countries: Venezuela, US
More
A new war announced: Germany sends warships to Russia
Additional details: Germany is ready to send German warships to the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea.
Language / Targeted audience: Azerbaijani
Link to the disinformation: publika.az/news/avropa/268022.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Publika Azerbaijan
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West preparing a war in the East.

Germany reassured that it is ready to continue the support of Ukraine in the de-escalation and deterrence of the Russian armed aggression, including through the presence of the military vessels of German Navy in the Black Sea as Ukraine’s Defence Ministry reported.

The use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Sea of Azov is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine violating Russian territorial integrity in the Sea of Azov.

Keywords: Black Sea, War preparation
Countries: Ukraine
More
US and its EU allies pulled off a coup d'état in Kyiv
Additional details: In February 2014, after months of protests stemming from President Viktor Yanukovich's decision to postpone the signing of a controversial association agreement with the European Union, the US and its EU allies successfully pulled off a coup d'état in Kyiv.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring Russian narrative about coup d'etat in Ukraine.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

There were democratic Presidential elections held on 25 May 2014 in Ukraine. The OSCE characterised the elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." This fact was reconfirmed by the parliamentary elections of 26 October 2014. The OSCE characterised the vote as "an amply contested election that offered votes real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms".

 

 

 

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro
Countries: Ukraine
More
West brings sodomy to Belarus through Polish Catholic priests
Additional details: Sodomy takes one Western country after another. West wants to bring sodomy to Belarus through Polish Catholic priests as local priests do not want to promote alien interests. Polish Catholic priests will be leading future gay prides in Belarus.

In Poland, Catholic Church priests are taught from their birth that Belarus is the Eastern part of the Second Polish Republic and should belong to Poland. If homosexuality wins in Belarus, then the country will have to file an application to the Council of Europe to have migrants from Africa. Without such applications, Belarus will not receive any migrants from Arab or African countries, as they are in great need in homosexual EU.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Teleskop
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Europe's moral decay and migration crisis with no supporting evidence given.

The disinformation message also contains an anti-Poland and anti-Catholic church messages. For previous examples see here and here.

The Council of Europe is not responsible for relocation or resettlement of migrants across Europe.

Keywords: Rail-roads, migration, Catholic church, European values
Countries: Belarus, Poland
More
Following the European logic with regard to Venezuela, Marine Le Pen could proclaim herself president of France
Additional details: European powers are announcing new ultimatums to the authorities of Venezuela. For example, Emmanuel Macron is demanding Maduro to call new elections and leave the office. The current President of France has a popular rating of 28 %. And the numbers of people who are protesting his policies in the streets are no smaller than in Venezuela. According to this logic, Marine Le Pen could also proclaim herself the president.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.1tv.ru/shows/tolstoy-voskresene
Disinforming outlet(s): Tolstoy @ Pervyi Kanal (0:35:00 - 0:35:40)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative constructed around the rhetorical strategy of "whataboutism" - deflecting attention from a certain issue by making counter-accusations.

Emmanuel Macron is the democratically elected president of France.

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral schedule, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.

After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process. In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Food shortages, poverty and hyperinflation (which according to the IMF estimates is about to reach over 10 million % based on the average consumer prices) have generated a wave of 3 millions refugees from Venezuela and the protests in Venezuela itself, when President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guido stepped in as an interim president on the basis of the Venezuelan Constitution. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen
Countries: Venezuela, France
More
Language police in Latvia is fighting the Russian language
Additional details: The national media regulator of Latvia has temporarily suspended retranslation of the Russia 1 TV channel,  at the same time when Russophobia is growing in the country. Language police in Latvia is fighting the Russian language. Latvian Russophobia has a particular  angle against the Russian language. A language police is monitoring the use of Latvian in public places.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli @ Rossiya 1 (1:33:39 - 1:44:00)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the discrimination of Russian speakers.

There is no language police in Latvia. The state institution, National Language Centre of Latvia, supervises the implementation of Official Language Law of Latvia that outlines the use of the state language (Latvian) in public sphere in Latvia and stipulates that "everyone has the right to present submissions and communicate in the official language [Latvian] in institutions, public and religious organisations and undertakings (companies)". The Official Language Law in Latvia does not apply to the use of language in unofficial communications of the inhabitants of Latvia, in internal communications of national and ethnic groups, or in services, ceremonies, rituals and other kinds of religious activity of religious organisations. Read more here.  

Between 31 May 2017 and 22 May 2018, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) found several occurrences of hate speech and incitement to ethnic hatred in the programmes of the “Rossiya RTR” channel, namely “60 minutes” and “Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyov”. For example, in the latter programme broadcast on May 22, 2018, NEMCC found "explicitly and repeatedly voiced hate speech against parts of the Ukrainian state", including incitement to "hang and kill" certain Ukrainians.

According to the NEMMC, the programmes mentioned above were in violation of article 6 of the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive ("Member States shall ensure by appropriate means that audiovisual media services provided by media service providers under their jurisdiction do not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality"); This was the reason given for suspending the broadcasting in Latvia for three months.

For more information, see here and here.

Keywords: Russian language, Russophobia
Countries: Latvia
More
Ban on Russia RTR in Latvia is a slap in the face for freedom of speech
Additional details:

Another ban on the Russian TV channel Russia RTR in Latvia is not only a manifestation of unfair competition in the media, but also a big slap in the face for the freedom of speech in Latvia.

Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ria.ru
TASS.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about alleged limits to freedom of speech in the West. Disinformation narratives often try to reach Russian speakers in order to claim that the alleged attacks on freedom of speech are most often directed at the Russian language.

Between 31 May 2017 and 22 May 2018, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) found several occurrences of hate speech and incitement to ethnic hatred in the programmes of the “Rossiya RTR” channel, namely “60 minutes” and “Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyev”. For example, in the latter programme broadcast on May 22, 2018, NEMCC found "explicitly and repeatedly voiced hate speech against parts of the Ukrainian state", including incitement to "hang and kill" certain Ukrainians.

According to the NEMMC, the programmes mentioned above were in violation of article 6 of the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive ("Member States shall ensure by appropriate means that audiovisual media services provided by media service providers under their jurisdiction do not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality"); This was the reason given for suspending the broadcasting in Latvia for three months.

For more information, see here and here.

 

Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media
Countries: Latvia, Russia
More
Trump ordered Colombian mafia to assassinate Nicolas Maduro
Additional details: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has claimed that Donald Trump ordered the Colombian government and mafia to assassinate him.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Today
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Washington and Bogota have repeatedly denied accusations of plots to kill Maduro.

See here for different disinformation narratives on Venezuela.

 

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro
Countries: Venezuela, US
More
Britan is under the thumb of the United States
Additional details: Bank of England refused to give Nicolas Maduro 1,1 billion in gold and thus Britain and its central bank have shown themselves to be under the thumb of the United States.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Today
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinfo narrative about the US orchestrating different international events. For example, according to pro-Kremlin media, the thumb of the US is so large that it covers German foreign policy, German media, European Parliament and Russia's accordance with the INF Treaty.

According to Sir Alan Duncan, minister of the Americas, the refusal to give gold to Maduro was a decision for the Bank to make: "The Bank of England holds a significant amount of Venezuela's gold. This is a decision for the Bank of England, not the government," he said. "No doubt they will take into account when they do the fact that a large number of countries across the world are now questioning the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro and recognising that of Juan Guaido."

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro
Countries: Venezuela
More
Romania might recognise Kosovo in exchange for the annexation of Moldova
Additional details: Bucharest might recognise Kosovo if the US will accept and recognise the annexation of Moldova by Romania.

Future Romanian expansion would include Chernivtsi region and south-western part of the Odessa region of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: inosmi.ru/politic/20190204/244508857.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Inosmi
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about Romania, with previous record of questioning Moldova's integrity. This disinformation narrative aims at undermining Moldova's EU aspirations.

There is no evidence that Romania is considering annexing Moldova.

According to the Romanian Parliament, the country does not recognise Kosovo because "conditions to recognise the new entity are not fulfilled".

Keywords: illegal annexation, Kosovo, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Romania, Kosovo, Moldova, Ukraine, US
More
The US is helping ISIS in Afghanistan
Additional details: US forces helped 40 ISIS commanders to escape from a Taliban prison in Badghis, Northwest Afghanistan. According to Iranian news agency Tasnim, quoted by Sputnik, the prisoners, all of them foreigners, were carried away by helicopters after US troops attacked the prison and killed every guard two weeks earlier.
Language / Targeted audience: Spanish, Castilian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US supporting ISIS.

The story was initially aired by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in mid-January, and then reported by Sputnik as: “Russia announces new evidence of links between the US and ISIS”. According to that narrative, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested that the US was interested in separating ISIS prisoners and seizing documents from the prison to avoid information leaks about the links between this country and the terrorist organization.

There really was an attack on a Taliban prison those days in Badghis, but according to Afghan national news agency Bakhtar News and local Pakistani newspaper The Frontier Post, the operation was conducted by Afghan forces and not by US troops. The Frontier Post says that “18 Taliban and 10 Daesh fighters were killed while 40 Daesh gunmen were arrested alive in the operation”. However, Sputnik reported it then as a US operation intended to rescue, not arrest, Daesh combatants.

The story was picked up by Tasnim agency, that published a version of it on the 27th of January, and then picked again by Sputnik in this new article. Both Russia and Iran are interested in portraying jihadist groups such as ISIS/Daesh as supported by the US. In reality, US and NATO forces have been fighting ISIS, not helping them.

 

 

Keywords: Daesh
Countries: Afghanistan, Syria
More
ECHR rejects an appeal against allowance to use grenades at demonstrations
Additional details: The European Court of Human Rights rejected the appeals made to them, for the French security forces not to use grenades against civilians shows double standards.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT English
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to the European Court of Human Rights press release from December 18, 2018, on December 14, 2018, the Court received a lawyer's request to order, as soon as possible, provisional measures putting an end to inhuman and degrading treatment and violations of the right to life suffered by participants of the "yellow-vest" protests. The request was to urge France to temporarily ban the use of defence bullet launchers, as well as incapacitating liquids by the police.

The request was made in relation to case Kazoua et al. vs France, registered under number 58803/18, a case alleging French police violence by 5 plaintiffs.

The request was forwarded to a Chamber of the Court, pursuant to Rule 39 of the Rules, which rejected the request for an interim measure concerning the security forces’ use of flash-balls and incapacitating liquids. The Court grants the requests for interim measures only exceptionally, where the applicants would be exposed - in the absence of such measures - to a real risk of irreparable damage.

This means that the ECHR did not rule on the case as such, neither did it in any way anticipate subsequent decisions on the admissibility or merits of the case before it.

See more disinformation cases on yellow vests protests.

Keywords: yellow vests, ECHR
Countries: France
More
Macron distributes fake news on Russian meddling in referendums
Additional details: President Macron spreads fake news. He said that during the last referendums, on Brexit and Catalonia, the vote was manipulated by foreign powers. But there are no proofs.
Language / Targeted audience: French
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

On July 29, 2018 The UK Parliament issued a special report presenting evidence of Russian meddling in the referendums in the UK and in Catalonia.

The Parliament report refers to the research done by the "89up" agency, which found that Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik published 261 media articles on the EU Referendum, with an anti-EU bias [between 1 January 2016 and 23 June 2016]. The "89up" report also showed that RT and Sputnik had more reach on Twitter than either Vote Leave or Leave.EU, during the Referendum campaign. The Parliament report also refers to a joint research project by the Universities of Swansea and of Berkeley, at the University of California, which also identified 156,252 Russian accounts tweeting about #Brexit. These accounts posted over 45,000 Brexit messages in the last 48 hours of the campaign.

The Parliament report also found that during the referendum campaign in Catalonia, Russia provoked conflict, through a mixture of misleading information and disinformation, between people within Spain, and between Spain and other member states in the EU, and in NATO (p. 51).

Keywords: election meddling, Catalonia, Emmanuel Macron, Brexit, Referendum
Countries: UK, Russia, France, Spain
More
Estonian e-voting is not secret and has benefited right-wing parties
Additional details: Voting over the Internet in recent years has been beneficial primarily to the right-wing parties.

In 2013, a 89-year-old retired woman took part in the elections to the board of the Reform Party. She did not own a computer and she also did not know how to use one.

There is no secret voting - in 2011, a 58-year-old Tallinn resident voted 553 times via the Internet and the representatives of the election commission called her to explain that only one vote would be counted.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Riafan.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to the Freedom of the Net 2018 report, "The Estonian e-governance system is one of the most advanced in the world." Also, the Estonian e-voting system has nothing to do with the system used by the Reform Party.

According to the report by the University of Tartu, e-voting could mobilize new voters and people of higher socio-economic status who are more likely to lean to the right of the political spectrum. "The only plausible explanation for the aggregate level differences in party vote tallies depending on the mode is therefore that a large share of typical voters have simply switched from paper voting to e-voting and this process is non-random, meaning a larger share of supporters of particular parties have done so. Should e-voting be discontinued, these people would simply switch back to paper voting", the report said.

In 2011 the Estonian Information System Authority, State Electoral Office and police discovered an anomaly caused by mass voting connected to a single IP-address. Although the voting is secret, the Estonian Information System Authority can make sure who is behind an (accidental) attack to the system and thus the lady was indeed contacted.

 

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum
Countries: Estonia
More
No evidence that Russian missiles 9M729 contradict the INF treaty obligations
Additional details: Most Western media speaking about the US’ withdrawal from the INF Treaty present the American point of view and remain silent about the Russian one.

Western media do not mention that the Americans did not share evidence that the Russian missiles 9M729 contradict the obligations of the INF Treaty.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Polish
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The US State Department issued a detailed rebuttal of Russian allegations of US noncompliance with the INF Treaty in 2018. Moreover, in December 2017 NATO affirmed that the US is in full compliance with the INF Treaty, and that Russia possesses a new missile system that aroused “serious concerns”.

The Congressional Research Service's Report on Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, dated 18-January-2019 details, i.a., how the Russian missiles 9M729 are in breach of the obligations of the INF Treaty.

In the Report they point out the difference between armed drones and the missiles:  "While it is true that drones sustain flight through the use of aerodynamic lift, they do not necessarily meet the treaty’s definition of unmanned and self-propelled. Although drones do not have pilots on board, they are piloted remotely, with pilots based at facilities on the ground. Moreover, although armed drones can deliver weapons to targets, they are platforms that carry weapons, not weapons themselves. Unlike a cruise missile with a separate launcher that remains behind after releasing the missile, a drone is self-contained, and takes off and lands like an aircraft. Further, although cruise missiles are destroyed when delivering their payload, drones release their payload then return to base, like an aircraft".

For more disinformation cases on the INF treaty, see here.

Keywords: Sphere of influence, Nuclear issues
Countries: Russia, US
More
Sputnik delivers high quality journalism, unlike other media
Additional details: Our goal is neither to divide France nor to create a climate of hatred. It is to reveal what others do not cover.This is what can explain the increase in the number of our readers, and by no means a biased line seeking to harm the French government. If some media feel aggrieved, this is only due to their partisan editorial line, distant from our own, which is factual.
Language / Targeted audience: French
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik FR
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The most notorious report Sputnik published was in 2017, about "gay lobby" behind Emmanuel Macron, then candidate to the French presidency, without providing any evidence. According to the same Sputnik report, "ex-French Economy Minister Macron could be "US Agent' lobbying Banks' Interest". No evidence was given. For background see our reporting on the Sputnik coverage in 2017.

Sputnik also reported that the Russian name found in metadata of the hacked e-mails of Emmanuel Macron "does not prove the source". The investigations by The Insider and Mediapart.Fr discovered that behind those attacks was the same GRU unit later incriminated in the US for the similar actions against Democratic party.

After being accused by Emmanuel Macron in 2017 of spreading fakes, Sputnik reacted by saying this was defamation and Sputnik's and Russia Today's (RT) editor in chief Margarita Simonyan promised to "take legal actions" in the name of both RT and Sputnik. No legal action has followed so far.

Last year, the French broadcasting regulator, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), issued a warning to RT over a falsified report contesting the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

 

Keywords: Sputnik
Countries: Russia, France
More
EU funding aim to create a Maidan-like crisis in Belarus
Additional details: The EU may collapse in the coming years as it cannot deal with migration crisis and political disagreements. Its unity is kept thanks to extensive development and enlargement. This is why Belarus is in the sphere of EU's interests. The EU funds Belarusian nationalists, oppositions and NGOs and buys Belarusian officials with the aim to destabilize the country and create a Belarusian Maidan, followed by Belarus' accession to the EU.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Vitbich
Reported by:
Disproof note:

 

No evidence given for the "Belarusian Maidan" or the EU's investment in its creation.

The EU is not buying Belarusian officials. EU assistance to Belarus aims at improving the quality of life of Belarusian citizens in a tangible and visible manner, by strengthening its economy, governance, connectivity and society. Find out more about the EU assistance to Belarus here.

The disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood. Examples of earlier disinformation with a similar narrative here and here.

Keywords: EU disintegration, Colour revolutions
Countries: EU, Belarus
More
Neo-Nazis are increasingly influential in the Ukrainian parliament and government
Additional details: In Ukraine, neo-Nazis are increasingly influential in the parliamentary system and government. Their presence in political system is the result of the Maidan coup in Ukraine.

"Reports about the murderous activities of the neo-Nazis and their dominating influence on parliament and government are completely taboo".

"The East Ukrainian population resisted the Maidan coup and since then has to suffer Poroshenko leading one military attack after another against them".

 
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Nazis that has been repeated since the outbreak of the Euromaidan revolution and coup in Ukraine.

There are no Nazis in the government nor in the parliament of Ukraine. The insignificance of the "Right Sector" is evident from the election results – their candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections. It is far short of the threshold needed to enter the parliament.

Currently, only 7 out of 450 deputies in the Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada represent the so-called right-wing forces: 6 deputies from the "Svoboda" party and one from the "Right Sector". Therefore they do not have any significant influence on the decision making neither in Ukrainian parliament nor in government.

For background:

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

There were democratic Presidential elections held on 25 May 2014 in Ukraine. The OSCE characterised the elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." This fact was reconfirmed by the parliamentary elections of 26 October 2014. The OSCE characterised the vote as "an amply contested election that offered votes real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms".

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Coup, Euromaidan, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More

share with